Utah Top Prospect Games: Quick Hits (Class of 2024)
July 16, 2023
Quick Hits: Class of 2024
PBR Utah held its signature summer invite event, as a two day event for the first time. The first day was the typical showcase workout with our top tech companies Trackman Baseball, with its ball flight and pitching metrics, along with Blast Motion swing analysis, Vizual Edge eye tracking software and Swift Performance laser graded 10/30/60 run times. Day two was game play, with the players divided into 6 teams for the first time, with 3 games played overall.
The setting was ideal, as we secured Salt Lake CC as our venue (All turf surface). The Bruins from Salt Lake made the programs first appearance at the NJCAA D1 JUCO World Series, as the captured the District championship, after near misses on numerous occasions.
With 82 players in attendance, the Top Prospect Games has grown from two teams of near 50 players, to four teams of 72 in 2022, to its growth in 2023. With every college JC and D1 baseball programs ap and down the I-15 corridor, the players were able to be evaluated by all the statewide coaches and recruiters with a couple of head coaches in attendance.
The following 14 players were just some of the 2024 players that stood out, as we could have listed more, but felt this was a solid list to draw from on initial looks, from not only from this event, but past events and the recently completed HS season factored in as well.
Easton Davies RHP / OF / Orem , UT / 2024
Committed: Arizona State
Jaxson Reiser RHP / OF / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 8 / POS: 3
Easton Jones RHP / 3B / Stansbury, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 21 / POS: 6
A virtual unknown, until a recommendation by a fellow Dad of a D1 player from the same HS, recommended a 3B and went to see Stansbury play and came away with a Future Games 3B and this young man came in relief and caught my attention. A tall 6-2 175 that oozes physical projection with a quick arm. Gathers well up top w/a solid hip turn and gets into his back hip to create leverage and lower ½ use of his legs. Arm is loose and whippy with a loose wrist to finish pitches. FB jumps from his hand at 86-89 T90 with more in there with high spin at 2463. The SL 78-81 tilts with late dive and spins at 2183. D1 potential with a high ceiling and big velo to come in time, if not sooner!
Connor Drachman RHP / OF / Copper Hills, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 20 / POS: 5
Hayden Smith C / 3B / Snow Canyon, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 16 / POS: 4
Had a very good sophomore year as the catcher on the 4A state runner-ups as he hit .393 and then took it to another level in ‘23, hitting at a .360 clip with 22 xtra base hits, with 14 2B’s, a triple and 7 HR’s. The ball jumps off his bat to all fields and can hit it out the other way. Gets loaded into the “MLB Logo'' position and has solid barrel release at contact. Behind the plate he needs to get better at block and recovering, frames, get low and receive the baseball with soft hands. The feet are efficient and online to 2B with above or below 2.0 pop times. His throws are on the money, for what he lacks in pure arm strength. A solid baseball IQ with bloodlines, as his uncle played in the NFL. As a junior carried Snow Canyon once again back to a state 4A runner-up finish and looks to lead the Warriors to the promised land in 2024, as Snow Canyon has played for the state title 3 years in a row, winning it all his freshman year.
Ryder Harrison OF / 1B / Snow Canyon, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 15 / POS: 5
One of the better overall hitters in the state. Small and compact, but strong and has hitters' mannerisms. Doesn’t really have a position to call home yet in LF, but what he does do, is he rakes and hits good pitching. A sound approach from a controlled quiet head and base to hit from. He sees pitches and recognizes spin and can control the K zone. Doesn’t swing and miss often and it’s rare to see multiple swing and misses in the same AB. Puts the ball in play hard and shows LD and loft power to all fields. Had 3 bottom of the 7th walk off HR’s in 2023, with two in pivotal region play and one against a 90 mph arm in the opening round of the 4A state tournament to straightaway LF off the scoreboard the other way. Not many LHH have done that at Miller Park (BYU) as it’s 345 to the LF pole and is a big ballpark. Look for big things from this kid moving forward!
Logan Leavitt 3B / RHP / Dixie, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 36 / POS: 4
Corbin Gull 2B / RHP / Salem Hills, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 54 / POS: 3
A player that could pop in 2024 as he has been blocked by next level players along the way. Shows MIF actions and soft hands to make plays as he made a couple really nice feeds and pivots around the bag in game play at the Top Prospect Games. Also blasted the games only HR, with a high drive down the RF line, that snuck over the fence. Barreled balls in BP with a high EV of 94.4. Doesn’t run for a middle INF, but has barrel control, soft hands and educated feet with good reads and instincts off the bat to make plays. Keep an eye on this kids senior season
Ethan Johnson C / OF / Cedar Valley, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 27 / POS: 5
A 3 time 5A All-State catcher, he will be looking to do what only a handful of others have done in state history as a senior in accomplishing the feat every year of his HS career. A raw athlete that needs work behind the dish in his footwork, receiving and arm strength, but the base ingredients are there to turn into a quality college catcher at the next level. An offensive minded catcher with long lean levers and a taller build than most catchers, yet the size and physical projection leaves you wondering how good this kid can be once he blossoms in the finer points of the game. The bat has always played and played quickly the minute he entered HS. Johnson has shown the ability to drive the baseball, provide extra base hits and drive in runs from the 3 hole in the Cedar Valley lineup. Keep an eye on this kid, as he would be a solid JC/Quality D2 offensive catcher with the base to improve defensively.
Deiverson Villalobos SS / 3B / East, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 23 / POS: 6
Another big surprise and one that has caught college coaches' attention over the last few weeks. First it was a text from a D1 commit that played against him in the spring, telling me to go see this kid play. He moved in from Venezuela this spring and had his coming out party at the Rawlings Tigers scout day a few weeks back and also showed well in the Top Prospect Games. A small immature build, due to his background and upbringing. Looks to add weight with American food and lifestyle. This young man can really play defense and shows the Latin bouncy feet and plus hands and feet to make plays ala Lindor! Can make the plays in all directions and make the bare hand play coming in with the flair for the dramatic. The arm is fringe to below, but has a quick accurate arm and the arm strength that will get to avg by MLB standards as he continues to get bigger and fill out. The bat has a clean path to a short compact stroke into a high finish. Can impact the baseball and shows alley power now with the chance for some pull power down the road. An athlete with twitchy movement patterns.
Trey Robinson OF / RHP / Lone Peak, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 53 / POS: 9
Degan Rigby RHP / 3B / Bear River, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 24 / POS: 8
Caden Fenger RHP / SS / Juan Diego, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 43 / POS: 11
A proj long athletic build at 6-3 180 and looks to add another 20 lbs at maturity. The delivery is compact and clean with some leak out front that lends itself to added velo, as he stays back and gets loaded into his back hip better. The arm is clean and produces FB’s at 83-87 with a max spin of 2236. The FB has a downhill plane and at times, sinks the ball below the zone. The CB 70-72 spins at 2283 and shows depth and TQ tilt for the promise of a tighter CB as he continues to gain added power and arm strength. The CH 77-78 shows some feel to fade and dive at the plate and kills the spin at 1946 rpm’s. Chance for 3 pitches in time and fits the projectable HS profile with bigger things to come!
|PBR Junior Future Games||NATIONAL||07/25||LakePoint|
|2023 PBR Future Games (Utah Invite)||UT||07/26||LakePoint Sports - Cartersville, GA|
|2023 PBR West Coast Games||UT||08/04||UNLV & College of Southern Nevada|
|Northern Utah Open||UT||09/16||Ridgeline High School|
|2023 PBR Scout Day: GBG Utah||UT||09/30||The Hive - Juab High School Fieldhouse|
|Utah State Games (Invite-Only)||UT||10/29||Snow Canyon High School|
|2023 Utah Winter Update||UT||12/02||The Hive - Juab High School Fieldhouse|
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- UT Utah Winter Update: Positional Data Dive 12/04/23
- UT Utah Winter Update: Statistical Analysis 12/03/23
- UT Utah Commitment Board: 2024 Class 12/01/23
- UT Utah State Games: Positional Data Dive 11/02/23
- UT Utah State Games: Pitching Data Dive 11/01/23
- UT Utah State Games: Statistical Analysis 10/31/23
- UT Salt Lake CC Scout Day: Positional Data Dive 10/15/23
JEFF SCHOLZEN (BIO)
Scholzen was brought on as the Utah Scouting Director for Prep Baseball Report after serving 9 years as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor with the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-2020). Prior to his run with the Brewers, Scholzen worked for the Los Angeles Angels for 11 years (1999-2010), serving in a similar capacity as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor. In all, Scholzen served as a full-time scout for 20 years. Scholzen also received a 2002 World Series ring for his contributions as a scout.
With the Angels, Scholzen created an Angels Scout Team, in which he coached the likes of current and former major league players: Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, Greg Bird, Tyler Wagner, Aaron Blair, Joey Rickard, Donn Roach, Johnny Field, Taylor Cole and Paul Sewald to name a few. During his run with the the Angels, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Angels rookie ball affiliate with the Pioneer League Orem Owlz, helping guide the Owlz to the 2005 and 2007 Pioneer League titles.
Prior to becoming a professional scout, Scholzen served as the head coach at Southern Utah University between 1993-1997. At the time, Scholzen was the youngest Division I head coach when he was first hired at 24 years old. The Southern Utah baseball program was dropped after the 2012 season. While coaching at Southern Utah, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Alaska Goldpanners in 1995, as they won the Alaska League Championship.
A native of Utah, Scholzen played at Hurricane HS and was twice named 1st team All-State and an AAU HM All-American, before moving on to Utah Valley CC and Eastern Oregon University, earning All-Conference honors on three separate occasions. Scholzen played in the Angels’ organization from 1991-1999.